What do you do when you’re an energetic R&B/funk group really looking to make a name for yourself in these modern times? Why, you go tour with punk rockers, of course.
While it may seem like an odd pairing, a few years ago the Bad Rabbits did just that. The core group (which consists of Fredua Boakye on vocals, Salim Akram and Santiago Araujo on guitar, Graham Masser on bass, and Sheel Davé on drums) have been carefully honing on their own upbeat brand of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis-inspired funk for years, and in order to prove themselves as both a must-see live act and a musical force to be reckoned with, the band wound up joining the Vans Warped Tour, the annual tour of non-stop punk and rock acts. Not only did the Rabbits hold their own, they also wound up earning the kudos of the other performers on tour, multiple rockers calling them out in interviews as the hands-down best act at the event.
Now, after the release of a highly-regarded EP, the band is finally putting out their long-in-the-works debut full-length American Love out to stores and touring it across the nation, starting with Karmaloop’s Verge Campus Tour sponsored by Neff Headwear and powered by eMuze, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Steve Aoki. To celebrate these events, Sheel Davé sat down with PopMatters’ 20 Questions, and reveals how he’s a proud first generation American, holds Glassjaw and Michael Jackson in equal regard, and how he broke one of his band member’s ankles…
1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?
Ashes, a film by Ajay Naidu (Indian guy from Office Space).
2. The fictional character most like you?
Selacious B. Crumb.
3. The greatest album, ever?
Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
4. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star Wars, because of the Grand Master of the Jedi Council, Yoda.
5. Your ideal brain food?
Cereal (particularly “Oh’s”).
6. You’re proud of this accomplishment, but why?
Proud to be an American. I’m a first generation American (of Indian decent) and proud of my parents for allowing this to happen. Professionally: I am most proud of being able to travel the country several times and create music that I have always dreamed of creating with my two bands: Bad Rabbits and Irepress.
7. You want to be remembered for… ?
My contributions to the music world and for making the people around me realize to never lose the kid in them.
8. Of those who’ve come before, the most inspirational are?
My parents, my grandparents, Gandhi, the Deftones, Ravi Shankar, my drum teacher Jeremy Sheehan, Glassjaw, Michael Jackson.
9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?
Sacred Chants of Shiva’s From the Banks of the Ganges (album).
10. Your hidden talents… ?
11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?
“Always Impress Your Peers”—Slick Rick the Ruler.
12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?
A lazy-boy chair for my father. [Editor’s Note: We’re presuming this was bought.]
13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or… ?
14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?
15. Time travel: where, when, and why?
India, 1995 so I can see my grandparents again.
16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation, or Prozac?
Powering on the treadmill, massage, Narragansett beach.
17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or…?
Lindt Hazelnut Chocolate.
18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?
New England in the Spring.
19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?
I’ll break your ankles in a one-on-one basketball match like I did/do to the bass player of Bad Rabbits.
20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?
Becoming a man.